This charming man: Five managerial destinations for Manuel Pellegrini


Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | May 24, 2016

Manuel Pellegrini leaves Manchester City with his head held high, having guided the Etihad outfit to three trophies, including the Premier League title, during his tenure.

Replaced by Pep Guardiola, the Chilean coach is now looking for a new job, but behaved with great dignity throughout. Where would suit Pellegrini? Could he stay in England? Or might a return to Spain or a move elsewhere be on the cards?

Coral football experts consider five destinations for Pellegrini ahead of a summer where his services shall surely be in demand…


Having coached Man City for three seasons, Pellegrini has been living in the Northwest, and tabloid rumours now link him to taking over the managerless Toffees.

Now installed as Coral’s 6/4 favourite to be next Everton boss, Pellegrini would be working with an ambitious new majority shareholder in Farhad Moshiri, but is well used to dealing with demanding investors after spells at the Etihad and Real Madrid.

What makes Pellegrini so appealing to the Toffees is his Premier League experience, recent trophy triumphs and the fact it’s not going to result in him moving into the area as he’s already there.

There is a Hispanic flavour to the blue half of Merseyside, with Pellegrini potentially inheriting a squad that contains Costa Rica full back Bryan Oviedo, Argentina defender Ramiro Funes Mori and Spain capped winger Gerard Deulofeu.

In the latter’s case, Pellegrini can mentor Deulofeu like he did with Man City signing Jesus Navas, who made his maiden move away from Spain to play under the Chilean.


Alternatively, a return to La Liga has been mooted for Pellegrini with Los Che arguably the most high-profile club seeking a new manager. Valencia have a fanbase that expect top four finishes and European football.

Billionaire Bats owner Peter Lim needs to get the supporters back onside following his disastrous appointment of Salford City business partner Gary Neville as Valencia head coach this past season.

Pellegrini is everything the former Manchester United captain isn’t; vastly experienced as a boss and with considerable knowledge of Spanish football, following stints at Villarreal, the Bernabeu and Malaga.

Served by the diminutive Sergio Aguero at Man City, Pellegrini could unleash the still emerging talent of Paco Alcacer at the Mestalla, who is of similar stature and retains the potential to be just as lethal with a low centre of gravity and great movement.

Spain national team

Vicente del Bosque has confirmed he is retiring from management after Euro 2016, so La Roja will be looking to name a new manager.

While naming a foreign-born coach as Spain national boss hasn’t been done since 1980, Pellegrini’s proven La Liga experience is not without merit.

Succeeding Del Bosque, who has presided over much of La Roja’s most successful era, will be no mean feat and there are some tough calls to make. Pellegrini has the wisdom to make the right decisions.

A new generation of talent needs to be brought through, with the selection by Spain of Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz for Euro 2016 deserved but a short-term option.

In years to come, the likes of Andres Iniesta, Juanfran Torres and even David Silva are going to see their international careers come to an end. Pellegrini would be charged with replacing such names with fresh blood that can build on the legacy left to them by some great players.


Bathtubs boss Unai Emery ought to be a leading candidate to take over as Spain national coach, potentially leaving a vacancy at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

As three-time consecutive Europa League champions, Sevilla are hot property and, should they lose their manager, they will want to bring a big name into the dugout to appease fans. Pellegrini has the profile and history to satisfy this.

Bringing the aforementioned Navas back to the Bathtubs, who looks surplus to requirements under incoming Man City boss Pep Guardiola, would be one easy way for Pellegrini to get supporters onside in Andalusia.

There are also a few Latin American players throughout the Sevilla squad, and Pellegrini has a track record of blending those with Spanish players from his previous posts.

AC Milan

Might the challenge of a different league appeal to Pellegrini, though? He’s managed extensively in Spain and there are so many South American stars turning out in Serie A these days.

The Rossoneri are going through a takeover that will pump the red half of the San Siro full of Chinese investment. Caretaker head coach Cristian Brocchi may not be retained by the new owners, who will want to make a statement both with signings and more likely than not a new boss.

Reviving the fortunes of fallen giants AC Milan is a puzzle that is going to take someone of Pellegrini’s calibre to do. Already equipped with Alex and Cristian Zapata in defence, plus Luiz Adriano and Colombia marksman Carlos Bacca in attack, there is a spine with potential to work with.

Sorting out the Rossoneri midfield is top priority for whoever takes them on. Engine room options are a far cry from the glory days of Rui Costa, Gennaro Gatuso, Kaka, Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf.

Pellegrini has proved he can build teams when given more than a season at a club, and taking lesser clubs like Villarreal and Malaga to the business end of the Champions League means the challenge of AC Milan is surely not beyond him.


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